Has AOL blacklisted dreamhost?

Serious problem:

Starting about 19:55 GMT Wednesday 16 July, all emails sent to any users on AOL.COM, CS.COM, or NETSCAPE.NET, from either of the two dreamhost-hosted domains which I help administer were bounced with the following message (I should emphasize that neither of these domains has ever been used to send unsolicited bulk mail. One has not been used to send any bulk mail, and the other has been used to send approximately weekly bulletins to an opt-in subscription list of around 2000 names):

554- (RTR:SC) The information presently available to AOL indicates
554- that this server has been repeatedly used to transmit unsolicited
554- bulk e-mail to AOL. Based on AOL’s e-mail policies at
554- http://postmaster.info.aol.com/standards.html, AOL cannot accept
554- further e-mail transactions from this server for an extended
554- period of time. Please have your ISP/ASP contact AOL to resolve

I’m reporting this here because I’m not the registered user of the affected accounts (he’s on vacation), so I can’t sign in to access the dreamhost support page, and the DH web page lists no support phone number or email address.

If anyone from DH needs details, all replies to this post will automatically be emailed to me.

Jonathan March

AOL doesn’t block on domain - if there is any blocking, it’s based on IP address, so it could be due to a number of things (in other words; they’re probably not blocking your domain; they’re blocking one or more of our servers for one reason or another). We have gotten some of AOL’s warning emails (unfortunately, they’re not very specific, and their postmaster team is not always that helpful as far as providing more specific information). From what I can tell, they’re not blocking our whole IP range, which is a good thing.

I will say that the way their spam reporting system works (in terms of member complaints) isn’t smart enough to determine when the Received chain is legitimate; i.e., if spam is sent to an AOL account because a DH customer forwards mail at their domain through our servers, it still views us as the source. I don’t know a really good way around this other than preventing our customers from forwarding email to their AOL accounts.

I’m out of town right now, so please have send a message to support for attention of Jeff C.

With regard to support, support at dreamhost dot com will get your message to the right place, or send a message via the sales form.

Many thanks, Will. I’ve emailed the details to support, attention Jeff C as you suggest.


We have no problems sending email to clients and members from to different DH servers to AOL.com accounts. Personally, AOL’s policies make me laught, though, because they themselves are some of the worst offenders when it comes to SPAM. Their attitude is: Their SPAM don’t stink. (or their PORN either.) But anyone not part of the AOL family, even when sending legitimate email, does stink. :smiley: But then in my book, anyone stupid enough to sign up for A$$holes-On-Line doesn’t need our newsletters or emails anyway. A ban by AOL is like a book banned in Boston. Make my day.

Just call me an AOL hater. I hope they go bankrupt.

zentao web design, graphic art and design at www.zentao.com

zentao7, Gallery of Artists and Speculative Novel Writers Groups

Thanks for the info on your experience, zentao. But why hold back? Go ahead and tell us your real feelings about AOL! :slight_smile:


Doesn’t look like Jeff followed up here, but just for the record, it looks like this issue is unrelated to us.

Knock wood.

I have had ACTUAL nightmares about getting blocked by AOL.

Quite right, it turns out that this mail is not being served by dreamhost, but by another ISP who is proving much less responsive than you folks. (I should have looked at the mail headers rather than relying on my amateur reading of a WHOIS).